TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THE STUDY AND PROMOTION OF ITALIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE:
La Societa` Dante Alighieri founded in Italy in 1889, with its present world headquarters located in Rome, is a non-profit association that promotes and disseminates the Italian language and culture throughout the world to include Italian achievement in the arts, literature, science, and industry and their collective promotion via language and cultural activities. La Societa` Dante Alighieri has approximately 490 affiliated chapters in more than 80 countries worldwide.
One of the chapters is the Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts, Inc. ("The Society") which was incorporated on June 11, 1971 pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 180, and in particular Section 4 thereof. The Society is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. The Society's Italian Cultural Center is located on a 35,000 sq. ft. parcel of land immediately adjacent to Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. The Cultural Center, which was dedicated in June of 1985, was designed by the world-famous Italian Architect Pietro Belluschi who at the time was the Dean of the School of Architecture at MIT. Over the years, with a fidelity to the cultural and educational programs and purposes of La Societa` Dante Alighieri, the Society has grown to a point that the present Cultural Center can no longer service the needs and demands placed upon it.
To ensure the financial security of the Cultural Center, the Society needs to create an endowment to increase the Society's financial reserves and provide additional income to sustain the Cultural Center. Over the years each Italian Consul General stationed in Boston has had an abiding interest in the Society and its cultural activities. In 2018 the then Consul General in Boston encouraged the Society to build a new building on its mini-campus in Cambridge. He was also instrumental in obtaining the interest of the Italian Foreign Ministry as a possible tenant in the proposed new building. In that regard, the then Consul General in Boston and the Society envisioned the proposed new building servicing the future needs of the Cultural Center and the possibility of having an entity of the Italian government as a long-term tenant. The Society also envisions general office use on the second floor of the new building. As a result, there would be established an endowment for the Society and surely strengthen the Society with a unique Italian Cultural Center, a landmark for the entire Italian and Italian-American community where tradition and innovation would converge in achieving the purposes and programs referenced in the first paragraph hereof.
The Board of Directors of the Society, recognizing the immediate need for two additional classrooms, more office space and for library expansion to include a Reserve Book section, created the New Building Committee as a Standing Committee under the Society's By-laws. The Committee is presently compromised of four members of the Society, all of whom are well qualified and experienced to discharge their responsibilities concerning the planning, design and construction of the new building which will be located adjacent to Cardinal Medeiros Avenue on the Society's mini-campus in Cambridge in the area designated by Architect Pietro Belluschi when he first designed the Cultural Center. The Chairman of the Committee and a member of the Society for many years is Guy A. Carbone, a practicing attorney who is also a Registered Professional Engineer with engineering degrees from MIT and a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School. The other Committee members are the Society's President Anthony Cassano, ex officio, a real estate developer; Commendatore and President Emeritus Lino Rullo, and Attorney Richard J. Vita, a practicing attorney who is also President of the Italian Heritage Month. Also, Salvatore Bramante, Vice President for Administration of the Society, is a non-voting member of the Committee.
The major design consultants for the proposed new building are all highly regarded in their respective professions: Architect Anthony Pisani, AIA, of Pisani + Associates of Boston; Alfred E. Muccini, P.E., the Principal of MEA Engineering Associates, Inc. (HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and fire safety); Structural Engineer Carmine Guarracino, P.E., Principal of Roome & Guarracino, LLC; and Construction Consultant Joseph J. Albanese, President and CEO of Commodore Builders Inc.
Status of Project
The New Building Committee has engaged a contractor to take borings at the site. The geotechnical information has been analyzed and catalogued by a geotechnical engineering firm. A surveyor has prepared a topographic plan of the site showing thereon the location of the present Cultural Center and the proposed new building. A civil engineering firm has prepared a narrative of environmental issues which must be addressed due to state law and City of Cambridge ordinances affecting the design of the building, particularly related to sub-surface existing conditions. The structural engineering firm has prepared a schematic foundation design and the design of the structural steel super-structure, and a mechanical engineering firm has prepared a schematic design of some of the mechanical systems. The Boston law firm of McDermott, Quilty & Miller, LLP ("MQM") was retained by the Society to assist the Society in obtaining zoning relief which has been received from the City of Cambridge and will now allow the Society to begin the final design of the project. It is now the intention of the New Building Committee to proceed with the final structural design of the entire basement area of the new building and to apply for a building permit for the structural elements of the basement. In particular, please see Drawing A1.B, the Basement Floor Plan, which is one of the nine drawings set forth below.
The proposed new building will be located on the Dante Alighieri Society campus at the intersection of Hampshire Street and Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge, MA. It is planned to have a first floor consisting of an 870 square-foot cafe and a 2330 square-foot Italian Cultural Exhibition. It will also have a 5700 square-foot second floor with a terrace overlooking the plaza. The new 7600 square-foot basement will contain a 56-person theater, 35-person classroom, and over 1930 square-feet of mechanical/ storage space.
Please see the images below for visual representations of what the proposed new building will look like. You can also expand each of the plans to show the details on each plan by clicking here.
Numerous benefactors have generously donated considerable monies which have been expended for borings, geotechnical and environmental engineering, schematic architectural, structural and mechanical drawings, and legal fees and expenses required to obtain zoning relief from Cambridge, which zoning relief was granted on May 25, 2023. The Society, acting through the Committee, has immediate need for at least $75,000 before the design team can begin work on the construction drawings and the specifications for all the work required for the entire basement area and obtaining a building permit for the entire basement area. Refer to the plans shown above and identified as Basement Floor Plan, Drawing A.1B, and Drawing A3.1 showing a Section A-A taken through the present Cultural Center and the proposed new building. Accordingly, the Committee appeals to all those who are interested in seeing the new building come to fruition to donate any amount for the advancement of the project. Checks should be made payable to "Dante Alighieri Building Addition Account" and mailed to "Dante Alighieri Society, 41 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, Attention New Building Account."
You may also donate electronically by credit card. If you are using a desktop computer, please click on the donate button below. If you are on a mobile or touchscreen device, simply tap the donate button. Because the Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts, Inc. has been designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by applicable law. The Board of Directors and the Committee thank you for your consideration and generosity.
The New Building Committee appreciates your questions and comments. You may contact us by mail using the address below:
Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts
New Building Committee
41 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, MA 02139-1547
You may contact us by phone at:
Alternatively, you may use the email address below to reach the chairman of the New Building Committee, Guy A. Carbone, and the Vice President of Administration, Sal Bramante:
Alternatively, you may fill out the form below to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, which will reach the chairman of the New Building Committee, Guy A. Carbone, and the Vice President of Administration, Sal Bramante. Click on the "Send" button to send the form.
If you would like to return to the Cambridge Dante Alighieri Society's main website, please visit www.dantemass.org.
Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always.
- Dante Alighieri
The secret of getting things done is to act!
- Dante Alighieri